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Birth Injuries: Natural or Medical error?

When a newborn is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it’s normal to wonder what went wrong—what caused the lasting brain damage and could have been done to prevent it. For one Louisiana families, these questions led to a lawsuit. The family, according to their local new outlets, delivered a child in the hospital of their small town. The child has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The Downer Family

The Downer family alleged the doctors delayed treatment during a difficult delivery. The delivery didn’t progress normally, so after several hours, the doctors ordered a C-section. When the baby was delivered, he was pale and limp, according to the mother. The family alleged the hospital took too long to resuscitate their son and to order a C-section in the first place.

At two-years old, the baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Who is to Blame When Cerebral Palsy is Diagnosed?

Though, cerebral palsy can be caused by infections, severe jaundice, high levels of bilirubin in the blood, or a deprivation of oxygen during the delivery process, there are those cases where a cerebral palsy diagnosis is entirely preventable, when the diagnosis is directly caused by a failure to act, an injury, or a needlessly extended delivery on the part of medical staff. In these cases, families have every right to place blame and to demand accountability.

Questions to Ask

It’s quite possible a detailed investigation into the facts of your case may reveal that a healthcare provider was medically negligent, contributing to or causing your baby’s hypoxic brain damage which caused cerebral palsy. Here are common, investigatory questions to ask:

  • Did your OBGYN adequately screen you for risk factors during prenatal care?
  • Did nurses regularly monitor vital signs of the fetus during labor, and respond promptly to signals of fetal distress?
  • If a C-section was called for because your labor was progressing too slowly or because of some complicating factor, such as a prolapsed umbilical cord, did your obstetrician perform the Cesarean section in a timely manner?

Answering these and related questions will form part of the discovery phase of your birth injury case if you decide to retain Teal & Montgomery on a contingency basis — and if we decide to file a birth injury claim or lawsuit on your behalf.

Call Us Today

Whether your child suffers from cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, or any number of delivery related complications, we’re here to help. Contact us today. We offer a free telephone, online or in person consultation. We will welcome you to one of our law offices, or we can visit you in your hospital or home location. Our Santa Rosa and Sacramento attorneys will listen to you, consider the facts and offer preliminary advice about how to pursue the maximum available compensation for your injuries and losses.